Compatriots Congress To Be Held In Moscow October 11-12

A Congress of Compatriots is to be held in Moscow on October 11-12, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said Friday opening the meeting with OSCE (the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) High Commissioner for National Minorities Rolf Ekeus. The visit by the High Commissioner to Moscow is being held on the background of the preparation for this congress with about 600 representatives from 60 countries to participate in it, the Russian Foreign Minister said. According to him, the participants in the congress are to discuss the status of the Russian population in different parts of the world. Russian President Vladimir Putin attaches "great importance to the work with compatriots." This is one of the Foreign Ministry's priority tasks set by the president, Ivanov stressed. "We count on the support of international structures and organizations in this work," he told the High Commissioner. According to the Russian minister, Moscow "does not mean to grant any benefits or privileges." At the same time, common standards suitable to all the national minorities in all the regions are to be developed, he believes. Igor Ivanov hopes Ekeus's contacts made in the course of the visit to Moscow will advance Russia's cooperation with the office of the OSCE High Commissioner for National Minorities.

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